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‘Tis the season to think about pounds, shopping

SHANE STARR
LaGrange resident

It’s the weekend after Thanksgiving. What causes you more panic — your new post-Thanksgiving weight, or the knowledge that there are only 21 shopping days until Christmas? 

I’m looking hard for someone to blame besides myself about the weight thing. It’s been suggested to me that punch-bowl sized helpings of mashed potatoes, stuffing and gravy are all sub-optimal caloric choices for an individual dedicated to weight loss, but I feel the science about such things must be incomplete. And even if that is directionally correct, I ate plenty of vegetables — asparagus with hollandaise sauce, sweet potatoes and marshmallows, green bean casserole, corn casserole and bacon-wrapped Brussel sprouts — that should have offset any poor starch decisions I might have made. 

Every diet encourages you to eat more vegetables, right? I also did better than usual in my intake of fruits and nuts — pecan pie, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, peach cobbler and Waldorf salad. So, I’m not sure where the pounds came from. I can only conclude it is water weight. 

Of course, I also increased my exercise level over the four-day weekend to offset any accidental caloric intake I might not have accounted for. For instance, by simply putting the desserts on a different table, it meant we had to walk an additional seven or eight steps for each piece of pie we consumed. I thought by putting the remote control on the television stand it might make me take a few more steps, too, but with the Iron Bowl being as exciting as it was, I didn’t really need to change the station at all, so that exercise strategy didn’t pan out. 

I’m probably more concerned that there are only three weeks and some change until Christmas. I am not a particularly good shopper when I have lots of time and a good plan. 

When I am under pressure and without direction, I pick things which seem interesting, but on Christmas Day, I can’t fathom what I was possibly thinking about. I mean, even with the best of intentions, it’s hard to defend an electric toilet paper dispenser, a glow-in-the-dark croquet set or a voodoo doll as perfect gifts. I also have to be careful that my presents don’t convey a message I didn’t mean to send. Like, I hate buying clothes because if the item is too large, I’m asked “Is this how big you think I am?” If it’s too small, the question is “Is this the size you wish I was?” 

As a result, in addition to clothes, I have permanently deleted from my buying list all things having to do with (1) weight loss or exercise, (2) beauty aids, wrinkle cream or any other cosmetics (3) kitchen appliances and cookbooks, (4) anything having to do with cleaning or housekeeping and (5) any type of DIY kit that requires effort. Wish me luck. 

In the good old days, Santa worried about all of this, regardless of how many days were between Thanksgiving and Christmas. I may need to drop him a letter.